How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Tile nippers
Tile saw
Tile spacers
Notched trowel
Thin set mortar
Grout float
Grout sponge
Measuring tape
Safety glasses
Mixing buckets
Old rags

A ceramic tile backsplash adds a punch of excitement to your bathroom. Because families spend a good deal of time in the kitchen, a backsplash can make the time spent there more enjoyable. Installing a backsplash is not difficult; with the right tools, you can complete the installation yourself and save money in the process. Follow these steps to add a tile backsplash to your kitchen.

Step 1 - Clean Walls

Kitchen walls are often sullied by grease and bits of food. Before installing the tile, clean the walls thoroughly with degreaser. Rinse the residue and let the walls dry.

Step 2 - Measure

Measure the backsplash twice and record the measurements.

Step 3 - Determine Layout

Use the backsplash measurements to determine the placement of the tile. Be sure that you have enough room to layout the entire design. Be creative. Be sure to include the tile spacers in the layout, or your cuts will be incorrect. Once you have decided on the tile placement, use a pencil to mark any necessary cuts.

Step 4 - Cut Tiles

Wear safety goggles and gloves. Use the tile saw to cut the tiles. For small or curved cuts, use the tile nippers to chip away until the correct shape is achieved.

Step 5 - Install Tile

Mix the thinset mortar in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s directions. Take a notched trowel and spread the mortar over the backsplash. Apply the mortar evenly, working in 2-foot sections. For corners, apply the mortar to the back of the tile. Press each tile firmly into place. Place tile spacers between each tile on every side for even grout lines. Wipe any mortar stuck to the tiles or in the grout lines with a damp rag. Allow the mortar to dry according to the packaging instructions.

Step 6 - Grout Tile

Once the mortar is dry, remove the tile spacers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the grout. Apply the grout between each tile using a grout float. Hold the float at a 45-degree angle. Clean the excess grout from the tiles with a wet grout sponge. Clean the tiles several times to remove all excess grout. Allow the grout to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7 - Clean Again

Once the grout is dry, use a damp rag to clean the tile again. Dry the tile with clean rags. Use cheesecloth to remove any fine particles from the tile.

A ceramic tile backsplash adds not only beauty to your kitchen, but also value to your home. Start this project today for more exciting kitchen tomorrow.